The Minister of Religion visa (T2) is a type of work visa that allows religious workers to come to the UK to perform religious duties and activities. The visa is intended for those who are employed or sponsored by a religious organisation in the UK and are coming to work for that organisation as a minister of religion, missionary, or member of a religious order.
To be eligible for this visa, the applicant must be able to demonstrate that they have been offered a job or a position within a UK-based religious organisation and that they will be undertaking activities related to their religion during their stay in the UK.
UK Minister of Religion visa is part of the points-based system, and you must score a certain number of points to be eligible. You can score points for your job offer, your salary, your English language ability, and your available funds.
If you need legal advice or help with your Minister of Religion visa application, our experienced immigration lawyer can provide you with the help you need.
Table of Contents
- What is a Minister of Religion visa?
- Requirements for Minister of Religion visa
- Documents required for a Minister of Religion visa
- How long you can stay?
- Extension of Minister of Religion visa
- Switch to a Minister of Religion visa
- Your partner and children
- Visa application processing time
- How can our immigration lawyer help you?
Requirements for Minister of Religion visa
To be eligible for a UK Minister of Religion visa (also known as the T2 visa), you must meet the following requirements:
- Age: You must be 18 or over when you apply.
- Job offer: You must have a job offer from a UK-based religious organisation that is willing to sponsor you. Your job must involve religious duties and activities.
- Certificate of Sponsorship: Your employer must provide you with a valid Certificate of Sponsorship. This is an electronic document that contains information about your job, salary, and length of stay.
- English language: You must be able to speak, read, write and understand English to the required standard. You may need to take an approved English language test and meet the minimum score requirements.
- Financial requirements: You must have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds.
- Criminal record: You must not have a criminal record in the UK or in any other country where you have lived for more than 12 months in the past 10 years.
- Tuberculosis (TB) test: If you are from a country where TB is prevalent, you may need to be tested for TB.
You must also meet all the other eligibility requirements depending on type of application and your personal circumstances. Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options.
What is a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)?
A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is a document issued by a UK employer or sponsor to a non-EEA (European Economic Area) worker who is offered a job in the UK. It is a unique reference number that the worker needs in order to apply for a UK work visa.
The CoS contains information about the worker, their job, and the sponsoring organisation, and confirms that the job offer meets the relevant UK immigration requirements.
You must have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show you can support yourself in the UK. You will need to have had the money available for at least 28 days in a row. Day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for this visa.
English language requirement
When applying for a Minister of Religion visa in the UK, you will generally be required to meet the English language requirements as part of the application process.
In general, to meet the English language requirement, you must provide evidence that you:
- Have a degree taught in English that is equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree, master's degree, or PhD;
- Have passed a Home Office approved English language test at the required level (currently CEFR level B2 or above) with a recognized test provider; or
- Have obtained an academic qualification taught in English from an institution that is recognized by UK NARIC (the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom).
What documents are required for a Minister of Religion visa?
You must provide the following documents when you apply for a Minister of Religion visa:
- Your valid passport or travel document to confirm your identity.
- Your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) reference number.
- Evidence that you have enough to support yourself during your stay in the UK such as bank statements.
- Evidence of your knowledge of the English language.
This is a general list of documents. Depending on type of application and your personal circumstances, you might also need to provide additional documents.
Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and find out the required list of documents in support of your application.
How long you can stay?
The T2 Minister of Religion visa is part of the UK's points-based system for immigration, and applicants must score a certain number of points to be eligible. The visa is typically issued for up to three years, and it may be extended for a maximum of six years in total.
Extension of Minister of Religion visa
If you are currently in the UK on a T2 Minister of Religion visa and wish to extend your stay, you may be able to apply for an extension of your visa. To be eligible for an extension, you must still be working for the same religious organisation that sponsored your original visa, and you must continue to meet the other requirements of the visa.
To apply for an extension, you must submit an online application to the Home Office. The application must include a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer, evidence that you have been working for the organisation during your stay in the UK, and proof that you still meet the English language and financial requirements.
The maximum length of time you can stay in the UK on a T2 Minister of Religion visa is six years. If you have already reached this limit, you may be eligible to apply for settlement (also known as indefinite leave to remain) if you meet certain requirements, such as passing the Life in the UK test and meeting the English language requirements. Alternatively, you may need to return to your home country and apply for a new visa if you wish to continue working in the UK.
Switch to a Minister of Religion visa
If you are already in the UK on a different type of visa and wish to switch to a T2 Minister of Religion visa, you may be able to do so if you meet the eligibility requirements.
You must also have been offered a job or a position within a UK-based religious organisation as a minister of religion, missionary, or member of a religious order, and have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from the organisation.
It is important to note that if you are currently in the UK on a visitor visa, you will not be able to switch to a T2 Minister of Religion visa. In this case, you would need to return to your home country and apply for the visa from there.
Your partner and children
Your partner and children can apply to join you or to stay in the UK as your 'dependants' if they’re eligible. If their application is successful, their visa will end on the same date as yours.
A dependent partner or child is any of the following:
- your husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried partner
- your child under 18 - including if they were born in the UK during your stay
- your child over 18 if they're currently in the UK as your dependant
You'll need to provide evidence of your relationship when you apply.
Minister of Religion visa processing time
You should get a decision on your Minister of Religion visa within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK using the standard service. You may be able to use priority service to get your visa faster depending on what country you're in.
How can our immigration lawyer help you?
As part of our immigration services for your immigration application, our expert immigration lawyer will:
- assess your eligibility for the relevant visa type by fully considering your circumstances;
- advise you on the required supporting documents to be submitted in support of your immigration application;
- assess all the documents to ensure that the documents you provide are as per the requirements of the Immigration Rules;
- advise you on strengths and potential weaknesses in your visa application and how you can overcome such weaknesses if any;
- complete the online immigration draft application form to share it with you for cross-checking;
- submit your application online and schedule your biometrics appointments with the relevant commercial partner of the UKVI;
- prepare a detailed cover letter in support of the immigration application explaining in detail how you are meeting all the requirements of the Immigration Rules so that you have the maximum chances of succeeding in your visa application;
- upload all the supporting documents online in support of the immigration application in their correct format and order;
- dealing and responding to any caseworker enquiries or correspondence from the Home Office caseworker for any further documents or information concerning your pending immigration application;
- do all the follow-up work on your immigration application until a decision is received from the Home Office UKVI.